- There are some “wear and tear” parts that you should always have at hand for your vehicle, such as bulbs, filters, and fuses.
- Emergencies can often be avoided on basic replacements by keeping a kit of common parts in your car.
- Save hundreds of dollars on emergency calls and towing by being prepared with a robust emergency kit.
It can be advantageous for you to keep a small kit of vehicle parts and accessories at hand at all times to prevent many simple issues or avoid big emergencies, such as being stranded on a dark road when your headlights go out. Of course, this is in addition to your standard vehicle emergency kit, which should be in every vehicle and include things like a flashlight, blankets, food, first aid supplies, and road flares, among other basic staples. We'll get more into that later, though.
For now, it’s essential to discuss the actual vehicle replacement parts, accessories, and tools that you will want to keep on hand so that you are never stranded for longer than absolutely necessary. Keep reading to find out which spare parts you should stock up on and how to create the perfect emergency kit that includes everything you could possibly need for your travels, whether you’re heading out on holiday or just commuting to the office daily.
What Parts are Worth Keeping Around?
It doesn’t make sense to buy things like batteries or high-dollar parts that you may never end up replacing or that don’t make economic sense to stockpile. For example, you wouldn’t even consider keeping something like an alternator on hand because the job is just too complex, and it doesn’t make sense that you’d be able to do that repair on the side of the road. Plus, this and other parts often include a core charge, which is refunded when you return the old part after making the replacement. It doesn’t make financial sense to leave these parts just sitting around.
Here is a list of the basic spare car parts that you should keep in your vehicle to help avoid a variety of roadside emergencies and big expenses:
- Spare Tire: Your vehicle should at least have a small spare that will suffice until you can get the original tire fixed. Make sure that you have one, and that it is inflated and ready to go at all times. If you want, you can upgrade by purchasing an extra full-size tire instead. Just make sure that you have somewhere to store it, as it may not fit in the space allocated for the spare.
- Spare Fuses: A single bad fuse can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s electrical system. One fuse might only control a single feature, or it could be responsible for all of the lights in the car. It’s best to stockpile all the most common fuses so that you have them available when needed. They're cheap and small, so they are easy to stock up on.
- Spare Bulbs: Imagine being somewhere in the dark of night, and your headlights both go out at the same time. If it’s not a fuse problem, you’re going to hope that you have bulbs on hand to make the replacement and see to finish driving to your destination. Figure out what bulbs you need for headlights, taillights, turn signals and keep a spare set of each on hand.
- Replacement Fluids: Any emergency kit should include extra fluids, including oil, antifreeze, washer fluid, and brake fluid. Low fluids may not create an emergency situation, but they can. If nothing else, running your car with low fluids can be bad for the engine.
- Oil and Air Filters: Again, these items are cheap and don’t take up a lot of space. Although you can generally pick them up as needed at auto parts stores, having them on hand can save you a trip. If you are planning a trip on a holiday when stores aren’t open and you require a new air filter, having one available will give you peace of mind on your travels.
Do You Have an Emergency Kit?
In addition to creating a spare parts kit, you should already have a well-thought-out emergency kit in your car that includes basic safety items and tools. You can purchase pre-made kits, or you can make your own, and some people even prefer a combination of both (such as a pre-made first aid kit added to a DIY emergency kit). Here’s what you need to have on hand at all times:
- Jumper cables
- First-aid kit
- Small tool kit with screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, pliers, and other basic tools
- Blankets and warm clothing for colder weather emergencies
- Car fire extinguisher
- Multi-tool (Swiss Army knife or another type of multipurpose tool)
- Rain gear and snow gear, as applicable
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Bungee cords, straps, and/or chains
- Mobile phone charger and/or portable battery pack
- Emergency car battery charger
- Gas can
- Paper towels or shop rags
- Roadside flares
- Flat tire repair aids (plug kits or inflation cans, or both)
Some people also recommend adding a small food kit for your emergency kit. If you choose to do this, pick items like bottled water and granola or protein bars, which can keep for a long time. You can also add other items to your emergency kit at your discretion. It's all about feeling safe when you’re on the road.
The Bottom Line
A proactive approach to vehicle ownership can prevent a lot of last-minute emergencies or high repair bills. Thanks to the available resources, you can find all of the genuine OEM parts and replacement accessories that you need online to stock your car with a kit for your peace of mind. Not only will you be safe in emergencies, but you will have fewer of them when you have all the parts and supplies that you need on hand.
When building your emergency spare parts kit, count on Autofixa to help you get the parts that you need. With our ever-expanding inventory of parts and accessories, you’re sure to find everything that you are looking for and more.